40 Self-Improvement Methods and Tips
When you’re ready to start your journey using self-improvement methods keep the following tips in mind. Don’t be afraid to admit your weaknesses, this is all part of the process. Identify them and create a plan that will help you grow in these areas. Look for ways to develop.
There are many Self-Improvement Methods that can work to improve yourself, grow, and become a better person. If you choose to go this route of personal development, rather than remaining stuck in a fixed idea of who you are, here is a list of 40 Self-Improvement Methods and tipss to get you started.
Take an honest look at yourself and your life – The only way to truly develop and grow as a person is to be blatantly honest and fearless in your introspection.
Therapy – Taking advantage of a licensed mental health professional can offer you many benefits in dealing with your issues so you can grow, thrive and be the best possible you.
Life Coaches – Qualified life coaches can assist you in many areas of personal growth and self-improvement.
Self-help Books – There are many great self-help books that can motivate, teach and inspire you in your self-improvement journey.
Establish what goals it is that you really want to reach in life – Don’t limit yourself to just home life or work. Think of your career, your personal life, and beyond. There’s no harm in developing in every aspect of your life.
Don’t forget to find ways to improve upon and nurture your strengths – It’s just as important to do this as it is to work on your weaknesses.
Meditation is a life changer, when practiced consistently over time. It allows you to develop skills of concentration and loosening your attachment to the thinking mind. Very often our thoughts are negative, angry or worrisome. They are not always helpful in problem solving. Often you will find that solutions arise when you can learn how to sit in the stillness of “Presence.” A practice of just five or ten minutes a day is a good way to start. The key is to practice consistently: The same place and time, and the same type of meditation.
Another powerful tool for personal development, when practiced consistently, the art of gratitude yields incredible results. An ancient Jewish practice is to thank God one hundred times per day. When you do this whilst experiencing the feeling of gratitude, you will notice that you become happier and you will feel much more abundant. You will feel calmer and more content when you focus on the blessings in the life you already have, rather than dwelling on the things you lack.
Relaxation has been shown in studies to lower blood pressure, decrease muscle tension and lower heart rate. Your breathing slows down. It is in a state of relaxation that you get inspirational insights, or that the body can do its self-healing work. There are many ways to relax of course. One way is to practice progressive muscle relaxation. Start at the feet.
Clench your feet tight as you breath in. On the out breath, relax the feet. Continue in this way up the legs, to the pelvic region, the back, the belly and rib cage, and so on, until you have covered all parts of the body. You should be much more relaxed than when you started.
Do you think you could use a better model for accomplishing your goals in the workplace or for yourself? S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for a goal setting model and can be applied to professional goals or personal development and is widely used by many organizations/people.
What Does S.M.A.R.T. Stand For?
• S – Specific – What needs to be done and how will it get done and what will the end result be?
• M – Measurable – Is this going to work? Why or how is this going to work?
• A – Assignable – Are you capable of successfully completing this task and achieving the goal? Do you have the experience/know how?
• R – Relevant – Is this action necessary? If completed, what will be accomplished?
• T – Time Specific – When will these tasks be completed and/or how will you handle any possible roadblocks if you come across any, to achieve the goal in a timely manner based on your deadline/s.
How You Can Apply S.M.A.R.T.
You can apply S.M.A.R.T. to any goal that you set out to achieve. If you want to become a better worker and/or become better at setting goals and taking the steps needed to accomplish them, this goal setting model can be a very valuable tool.
Identifying and planning are essential to staying on target and completing tasks strategically. By doing this, you’ll also learn a great new habit for success which is good for lifelong productivity.
As a manager or any type of person in an authoritative position, using the S.M.A.R.T. method for employees is ideal, and while you can recommend and implement it at the workplace, you can use it for yourself to become a more effective leader.
Is S.M.A.R.T. The Best Method?
You may not call your way of setting goals “S.M.A.R.T.” but the principles for the acronym (S.M.A.R.T.) are truly an effective and widely used method to setting and achieving goals. As far as we know so far, it is necessary to apply each one of the goal setting phases in order to optimize performance.
You must be specific so that you can understand what you are doing and what results are possible and desired. Measuring is necessary because you must be able to measure your progress against some standard.
Are you the right person to be assigned this goal and do you think it’s possible (With your knowledge) to accomplish. Is the goal relevant and can you complete it within a reasonable time?
These are all important things to take into consideration and will make or break your success. So … Is S.M.A.R.T. the best method? You could agree if you consider how it will help you to ideally execute a task or project of any size/difficulty level.
If you put thought and strategy into how you achieve goals, you will be much more likely to complete them, but you’ll also get the best out of your time management. You can hardly go wrong with following “S.M.A.R.T.” to accomplish any and every goal that’s necessary for your own personal growth.
Walk In Nature
In Japan there is a “thing” called “nature walking.” People will go out with friends or families to a forest or similar wilderness. Instead of a hike designed to exercise the body, this is a more meditative practice where you simply wander slowly around, without a real aim or direction other than to enjoy the different sensual experiences of being in nature:
The beautiful sights and sounds, the texture of leaves or soil or fungus, the wonderful smells and even possibly the taste, of a snowflake on your tongue, for example.
Do you know the expression, “Smile and the world will smile with you”? Well, it’s true! Try it for yourself and see. When you smile at strangers on the street, see if they smile back at you. Notice how you feel when you practice smiling at other people throughout your day, regardless of the circumstances.
Smiling brings joy to other people and it makes you feel uplifted and happier too. The smiling muscles in the face send a signal to the brain that it is time to get happy!
See The Good In Everyone
According to the ancient yogis of India, there is a spark of divinity within each human being. Begin to treat everyone as if they carry this sacred spark of divinity within them. Treat them with dignity and respect. See what changes when you do this.
See Everyone As Your Teacher
“Imagine that every person in the world is enlightened but you. They are all your teachers, each doing just the right things to help you learn perfect patience, perfect wisdom, perfect compassion,” Gautama Buddha is reported as saying.
One of the practices of yoga is Ahimsa, or non-violence. Non-violence means not injuring another, whether in thought, word or deed. Ahimsa means non-harming; it also means being compassionate. You can be harmful towards yourself when you are harsh or unforgiving towards yourself. This is a subtle practice which reaps the benefits of inner peacefulness.
Look For Win-Win Solutions
Rather than trying to be right, and making another person wrong, try to find ways where everyone can benefit, or everyone can win. Look for solutions so that everybody can feel like they have gained something.
Love Yourself First
Before you can love anyone else, you have to learn to love yourself. You cannot truly love another if you are being unkind to yourself. Self-love and self-compassion fill you up and give you the inner resilience to demonstrate true compassion towards others.
It is far from being selfish; loving yourself first is a sign of balance and good health. If you are always busy pleasing others and putting yourself last, not only is that in fact a form of Ahimsa, but you will end up feeling resentful and burnt out. Then you will be no good to anybody!
See The Cup As Half-Full
Practicing optimism is one of the best Self-Improvement Methods. Seeing the cup as half full, or “always looking on the bright side of life,” as they said in Monty Python, will help you experience life from a place of deeper appreciation. Try seeing the cup as half full in reference to other people too, and you will be a better person for it.
Being creative allows you to fulfil your potential, explore new avenues and find solutions you didn’t know were there. You will have fun, exercise your imagination and develop the right side of your brain, which is often neglected in favor of the more analytical left brain. The more you practice, the better your skill level will become and the more adept you will be.
When you can forgive others, you will feel yourself forgiven. It is a strange paradox. You will feel liberated; the anger and resentment you were holding onto was eating you up and causing you to lose energy.
Learning to breathe properly will develop your capacity for being in the moment. Belly breathing, as it is known, allows you to take more air into your lungs so that more oxygen gets circulated around the body. This sends a signal to the brain that you are safe, since you are breathing like a sweetly sleeping baby would, and your body automatically begins to relax.
You can become a calmer, more centered person. When you breathe in, imagine a balloon inside your tummy being filled with air. When you breathe out, imagine the balloon deflating. It’s that simple!
Making healthy food choices can keep you well, increase your longevity and improve your mood. With a little discipline this can be one of the easiest of the Self-Improvement Methods discussed here. You can lose weight, increase your vitality and energy levels and rid yourself of many diseases all by healthy eating. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and decreasing the amount of sugar, wheat, dairy and red meat in your diet is a great way to get started.
Another way to increase your energy levels, lose weight as well as increasing muscle tone, strength and stamina, exercise is a must for many reasons. It tones up your cardiovascular system and improves your lung capacity. It also helps your body produce endorphins, the “happiness hormones” which are known to elevate your mood.
Yoga benefits you on so many levels: As mentioned above, there are moral and ethical practices to consider, such as Ahimsa. Yoga teaches you breathing, which brings you into the present moment and causes your body to begin to relax.
This focus on the breath throughout each movement is in itself a form of meditation which develops your focus and concentration. Yoga also strengthens, tones and increases flexibility, balance and increases the health of your internal organs.
Laughter is the best medicine, they say. Laughter lifts your mood, relaxes your body, and increases your endorphins or happiness hormones. Endorphins can help relieve pain. Find something to laugh about daily and you will increase your quality of life and increase your immunity.
Do Something Fun
Life is meant to be enjoyable! If you are not having fun, it is time for a change. Find something you are passionate about and pursue it. Join a group, such as a hiking club, or a photography club; start doing stand-up comedy! Find something fun and go out and do it!
Reach Out For Help
This can be a surprisingly difficult thing for some people to do, and yet it is a sign of maturity, humility and grace. When you allow yourself to receive, you are giving others the chance to contribute to another person’s well-being. That is the grace part; however, it takes humility to be open and willing to receive help.
Many folks find this hard, since they want to appear independent, capable and strong at all times. When you do receive, you build yourself up, you build others up and you build community up. It is not a one-way street!
When you help others, you fulfil the need to become a useful member of society. You feel good about yourself. As it says in the Bible, “Giving is receiving.” When you give to another you automatically receive the blessing of supporting another human being and you most likely will receive their heart-felt gratitude. Jesus said, “Whatever you do unto the least of my brethren you do unto me.” When you give, let it come from your heart. You will feel a warm glow of satisfaction in your heart.
When you contribute to society or to another, you feel so much better in yourself. Contributing can bring about feelings of fulfilment and satisfaction.
Maybe you volunteer at a homeless shelter, or lend a listening ear to a friend, or donate to a cause. Whatever you choose to do will increase your feelings of well-being and integrity.
Sharing is another of the Self-Improvement Methods you should be using. Whether you share your time, your talents, your wisdom, your kindness or your generosity, sharing brings about a deepened sense of connection and trust with others. It helps you create a more genuine and heart-felt association with another human being. Sharing warms your heart and puts a smile on others’ faces.
Some people have to practice being generous; if it doesn’t come naturally to you, try to be generous in small ways at first. You can be generous with time, money, friendship, hospitality and things. Give just a little at first and over time, give more. Notice what happens when you become generous, when you stop clinging through fear of loss. Let go and experience the joy that true.
Here in the west there has been an emphasis on the brain, on thinking and on the intellect, often at the expense of the heart, the seat of love, compassion, authenticity and intuition. You can become a more rounded person by remembering to drop out of your head and into your heart, coming from a place of love, and the will to connect.
Coming from the heart can lead to more genuine connections with others and can lead to a more richly felt experience of life.
There are certain scientific findings that show that the old idea of nature as a survival of the fittest model, is not entirely accurate.
Nature can be found to be very collaborative. It is now known that trees communicate with and help one another, and act as an organism. So, don’t compete with others. Find ways to collaborate, to work together with, to support one another along this path called life, instead of fighting with one another.
Listen To The Still Small Voice Within
Your inner guidance system, the intuition, can be most likely heard when you let go of outcomes, and the need to be right. When you can “Be still and know that I am God,” and be aware without expectation, that is when you will be able to hear the voice of your intuition.
Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present moment. Most of us are so frantically rushing through in high stress mode that we completely miss our lives. We have one “precious life” as the Tibetan Buddhists say, and the way to experience it fully is to be present to each moment that passes. One way to do this is to focus on the breath. Another way is to focus on each of the five senses: Touch, taste, hearing, smell and sight.
Coming to terms with who you are and accepting yourself fully, can be a process. Many people are very self-critical. Along with learning to love yourself comes self-acceptance. Each one of us is perfectly imperfect. Knowing that you are unique and have unique gifts to offer the world is one of the most important of the Self-Improvement Methods.
Do Not Judge
You can become a lot more forgiving when you learn not to judge others. Try not to judge others because you never can know what another has been through, and how much they have suffered. We all carry a heavy load. Instead, try being kind to others. We are all in this together!
Using these Self-Improvement Methods is an ongoing process. Life is all about learning, so don’t be afraid of looking within yourself to see where you have room to improve. It’s a personal journey, though, so it’s up to you to determine how best to proceed for you.
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